I finally broke down and joined Pinterest, the latest super-awesome-and-going-to-be-huge social media site. And I have to say, it’s super awesome and I think it’s going to be huge, guys.
For those of you still spending all your time on Facebook, or worse, in real life, Pinterest can best be described as a lovely, perfectly organized set of online bulletin boards. It’s a place to collect pictures of all your favorite things.
Once you start using it, you wonder how you ever browsed the web without it.
Here’s how it works: After you sign-up, you install a “Pin it” button on your internet browser. Then, every time you see a picture of something you like, you “pin it” to one of your virtual bulletin boards. Eventually, you build little pockets of inspiration on the internet, and everything links back to the original source. You also can browse other people’s pin boards and re-pin anything that strikes your fancy.
Trust me, it’s more addicting than you think. Just ask the 10.4 million registered Pinterest users, who the Associated Press reports are using the site.
As for my boards, à la the candy gig you can find me at www.pinterest.com/sweetiepins. There, you’ll see my own personal set of 13 pin boards, ranging from “Text Love” (inspirational messages, usually featuring delightful design), to “Make Me Up” (mostly pictures of people with either flashy pink eyeshadow or flashy pink hair). I also have an “Editorial Layouts” board, where I pin magazine designs I find inspiring.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Crystal, this site sounds pretty girly and how does any of this relate to the candy industry?”
Well, as with all new and exciting social media sites, Pinterest has oodles of potential for people trying to sell stuff — including candy. And it’s still in that magical twilight stage during which bold companies could reap abundant rewards for using the site well in its infancy, but won’t be penalized too much for screwing up.
Most importantly, the site’s core mission is helping people discover new things they want to try — from bookshelves to exotic island resorts to food. So it only makes sense that if you want said people to try your new product, then your product should be on Pinterest.
The trick for marketing people will be maintaining authenticity. Pinning your own product, or paying someone else to do it, will no doubt be frowned upon. However, installing little “Pin it” buttons on your website, making it extremely easy for people to spread the word, could be just right.
I can’t tell you for sure that Pinterest is going to be the next frontier of selling stuff, and even if I could, it’s still too early to tell you all the ways it will do that. But, seeing as how it’s free and fun, it would behove companies to give it a whirl. At best, you’ll discover a new marketing strategy, and at worst, you’ll find a great pair of stiletto heels (or, for my male readers, rattlesnake cowboy boots!).